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Spellings Announces Academic Competitiveness and National SMART Grants Data Results


U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced the first year national data results from the Academic Competitiveness (AC) and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (National SMART) Grants.

Results show that in the first year, $233,038,410 in Academic Competitiveness Grants were awarded to 299,089 students nation-wide, and $195,544,735 in National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants were awarded to 60,976 students.

“Math, science and critical foreign language skills are the new currencies in our global economy, and we must continue to work hard to inform students about the money available for them if they take classes in these fields,” said Secretary Spellings. “These grant programs will not only enable more students to attend college but also better prepare our students for a globally competitive workforce.”

President Bush signed into law the AC and National SMART Grant programs on Feb. 8, 2006, through the Deficit Reduction Act. The AC Grants provide additional aid to first- and second-year college students who complete rigorous high school coursework, are enrolled fulltime and maintain a 3.0 GPA. National SMART Grants are for third- and fourth-year Pell Grant-eligible college students who have maintained a 3.0 GPA, major in math, science, or critical foreign languages and are enrolled fulltime.

As new grant programs available to students, the Department has worked closely with financial aid advisors and admissions counselors across the U.S. to raise awareness about these grants, verify students’ eligibility and award grant aid. With this strong foundation, the Department is confident that participation will continue to increase, and as a result, students will be better prepared for and have more resources to attend college.

The Department of Education has set a goal to double the number of students receiving AC and National SMART grants by 2010-11 and will continue to work with States, colleges and high schools to raise awareness about AC and National SMART Grants.

“The bottom line is that to ensure our nation’s economic competitiveness, we must first expect high academic performance from our students. Rigorous coursework and an increased focus on math and science will prepare students to succeed in college and the workforce of the future,” Spellings said.


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